Colchester County women embrace opportunity to change lives overseas

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UPDATED 4 P.M.

TRURO - Della Whidden and Sheila Sabine know how blessed they are.

They were two of 10 people from Colchester County who recently returned from a missionary trip in San Juan, Nicaragua. During the nine-day trip, the group saw the dedication of a church many of them had previously helped build, visited a feeding program, helped teach English in schools, passed out 400 Bibles and helped build the foundation of a house for a family of five whose home had been infested with termites. 

"I feel blessed to live in Canada. Most people don't know how blessed we are until you go somewhere like that," said Whidden, thinking about the family whose run-down and simple, mud-floor house was barely the size of a small living room.

This was Whidden’s second trip to Nicaragua. The first time was in 2011 when she had helped build a church there. That church was the centre of a special dedication service when the group visited last month.

“The highlight of this trip, for me, was that and when a little boy that we connected with the last time went up to the (church) altar to know the Lord,” said Whidden of Bible Hill. “I had happy tears. It was overwhelming.”

For Sabine, a Belmont resident, it was her second trip to Nicaragua as well. While meeting people again from three years ago was exciting, Sabine was also thrilled to help teach English as a second language in a school. However, there were challenges.

“The most difficult was working with the unknown: how many students would we have? What resources would we have? Would there be a translator?”

Sabine was also touched by the happy faces of the Nicaraguan people, despite harsh living conditions.

“Many of the homes were (pieces of) steel patched together and mud floors,” she said.

“Some people lived in garbage dumps and there was a feeding program in the mountains for the poorest of the poor,” Sabine said, describing the program as an opportunity for people, mostly children, to lineup once a day six days a week for a meal of rice prepared by a church.

“For some, it may be the only meal they would have that day.”

The women said it was an experience they are sharing with others in the community and believe it’s important to help those in need regardless of how far away they are from Colchester County.

“You realize you may only be there a short time but you hope you make a big difference in their lives,” said Sabine, adding, “Jesus has directed us to go out in all the world.”

“And sometimes when you go to someplace else it’s easier (to help) because they welcome you with open arms,” added Whidden.

mchiasson@trurodaily.com

Twitter: tdnMonique

 

Did you know the following about Nicaragua:

-      Nicaragua, officially the Republic of Nicaragua, is the largest county in the Central American isthmus.

-      It borders Honduras to the north and Costa Rica to the south.

-      Nicaragua achieved its independence from Spain in 1821.

-      The population was about six million in 2012. Its population includes indigenous native tribes from the Mosquito Coast, Europeans, Africans, Asians and people of Middle Eastern origin.

-      The main language is Spanish.

* Information from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicaragua

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Della Whidden and Sheila Sabine know how blessed they are.

They were two of 10 people from Colchester County who recently returned from a missionary trip in Nicaragua. During the nine-day trip, the group saw the dedication of a church many of them had previously helped build, visited a feeding program, helped teach English in schools, passed out Bibles and helped build a house for a family whose home had been infested with termites. 

"I feel blessed to live in Canada. Most people don't know how blessed we are until you go somewhere like that," said Whidden, thinking about the family whose run-down and simple, mud-floor house was barely the size of a small living room.

Story developing ... 

 

Geographic location: Colchester County, Nicaragua, Canada

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